distend was our Word of the Day on 03/29/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of distend in a sentence
an abdomen distended by disease
Did You Know?
The history of the word distend stretches back to the Latin verb tendere - a root whose kin have really expanded our language. To find evidence of this expansion, look to words that include "tend" or "tent"; many have "tendere," which means "to stretch, extend, or spread," in their family tree. Perhaps the simplest example is "tent," which names a shelter made from a piece of material stretched over a frame. You'll also find the influence of "tendere" in "extend," "tendon," "contend," "portend," and "tendency."
Origin and Etymology of distend
Middle English, from Latin distendere, from dis- + tendere to stretch — more at thin
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of distend
DISTEND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of distend for English Language Learners
medical + formal : to become larger and rounder because of pressure from inside
DISTEND Defined for Kids
Word Root of distend
The Latin word tendere, meaning to “stretch” or “to spread,” and its form tentus give us the roots tend, tent, and tens. Words from the Latin tendere have something to do with stretching or spreading. A tent is a temporary shelter made from stretched out fabric. To distend is to stretch outward and swell in all directions. To extend is to stretch out. A tendon is a cord that connects a muscle to another muscle or to a bone and that stretches allowing a joint to bend. Something tense is stretched tight.
Medical Definition of distend
: to enlarge or stretch out (as from internal pressure) distended veins
intransitive verb: to become expanded
Seen and Heard
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